Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) President Brian Lewis has suggested sports administrators should "sacrifice some privileges" to better support athletes.
Lewis, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee President, made the comments during online talk show Coffee Talks.
The CANOC President highlighted the challenges faced by athletes when pursuing their aim of competing at the Olympic Games.
He referenced the TTOC medal bonus scheme introduced in 2015 as part of the "#10Golds24" project as a way to support athletes.
Lewis then questioned privileges enjoyed by sports administrators, suggesting cutbacks could be made to benefit athletes.
"We don’t address the fact that the pursuit of the Olympic dream and Olympic podium dream consigns many athletes to poverty," he said, according to Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
"If they want to aspire to make the podium they can no longer do it recreationally.
"Why must athletes do this for free, sacrifice everything, while sports administrators and leaders stay at five-star hotels and get per diems?
"This was one of the reasons I created the Athlete Medal Bonus for our Olympic podium placing athletes.
"These are the things we need to look at.
"Maybe we need to sacrifice some of the privileges and lifestyle of sport administrators.
"We can use the savings to afford our athletes, especially those who excel by virtue of the podium, be afforded some sort of financial dignity."
Lewis has recently questioned whether sport leaders can be trusted to act on issues such as racism and sexism.
The CANOC President has also been a vocal advocate for gender equality, with the TTOC having held an Advancing Women in Leadership Forum earlier this month.
Lewis said there was a need for more men to support gender equality within the Olympic Movement.
"While the IOC has done a lot of work with gender equality in the field of play with the athlete, and while they have made progress in the boardroom, there is still a lot of work to be done," he said.
"There is no room for complacency.
"The sporting world has been an old boys club and the succession planning pipeline is full of men.
"Because of the patriarchy that surrounds sport for centuries, being old male and white.
"There is need also for men, it can’t be a woman only battle.
"Men in the Olympic Movement must be sincere and genuine in supporting and advocating that vision.
"It may mean that some men will have to make a decision to push forward women on merit."